The Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has thrown American life, and specifically Ohio life, into disarray over the last weeks. This situation is challenging all of us, given the uncertainty surrounding this virus and how to best address its spread. After receiving a briefing for denominational leadership and consulting a professor of microbiology/epidemiology in our regional family, I want to share some possible action steps.
Before sharing specific information, let me say that we as Christians are called to a posture of confident wisdom in the face of such challenges. While so many around us struggle with fear and even “panic,” we are called to “step up” with assurance:
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline” -2 Timothy 1:7
Our God is in complete control, even when we cannot easily perceive His plans and purposes. It is in that spirit of assurance but also in concern for His church that I pass on to you some observations concerning the present virus outbreak and suggestions for steps we can take to address it.
Finally, let me echo many other Christian leaders in saying that we cannot miss the unprecedented opportunity this virus is presenting for us to be able to share the Good News of Jesus with others. With the combined impact of both health concerns and economic upheaval caused by this pandemic, the security and stability that so many Americans have taken for granted for so long is being shaken. It is a great opportunity for us as Christians, the ones who can have hope and confidence through Christ even in the midst of this present turmoil, to shine as examples of the peace and life available in Jesus and to share the message of His love and salvation.
Know that we are praying for all of you, and please let us know how we might come alongside your local church in the midst of this challenge. We will continue to send along communication from our denomination as it becomes available.